I Bought A House!

Hooray!

The news is out and it’s officially official, ya girl is a homeowner.

I didn’t share anything about it until everything was set in stone because I knew, from every home buying resource/website/blog/expert, that things can turn real quick, shit can hit the fan, and that home you have your eye on can be ripped away from you in what feels like a blink of an eye! And I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious, so I didn’t want to jinx anything.

But now I can talk about it because the papers are signed, the keys are in my hands, and I am officially the bank’s bitch. Yay!

All in all, I had a really positive first time home buying experience. Though it’s all a whirl because everything happened SO fast. The week of Halloween, my dad drove to Raleigh to help me start my search with a realtor. We saw a few places, only finding one really great space that checked most of my boxes and where I experienced my first real estate heartbreak when we learned that the sellers had accepted an offer an hour before I arrived (and 11 hours after the house went on the market). A couple of weeks with a whole lot of nothing went by, then finally my realtor flagged a super charming townhouse and made an appointment for us to see it at 8:30 a.m on November 14th (a Saturday) just 12 hours after it went on the market. I walked in and got the feeling, I just knew it had to be mine! We made an offer at 11:30, and at 7 p.m I got the call that my offer was accepted. Next came the whole whirlwind of getting my loan approved, acquiring home insurance, doing home inspections, due diligence, and planning for my move (most of which I was doing without a computer, since my laptop was away for repair). I closed on December 11th. Blink of an eye, I’m telling you!

So, now I’ve got this gorgeous 3-story townhouse with a big kitchen, hardwood floors, and a ton of natural light, and I’m just so excited to get in there and start making it home after Christmas. I’m also excited to become a handy homeowner, because you all know I’m all about the DIY. I’ve already caulked some trim, painted the walls in the dining & living room, and next I’m refreshing the kitchen. I’ll be documenting everything here, duh, but for now I thought it would be fun to share some of my inspiration I’ve gathered from my Pinterest boards!

So much fun. I can’t wait!

How To: A Statement-Making Entryway for Under $150

A big lesson I’ve learned in decorating (especially as a twenty-something on a budget!) is that sometimes putting in the work to do a simple DIY makes all the difference.

Think about how many times you’ve come across the perfect piece of furniture that just speaks to your soul, and then had your heart broken when you saw the price tag. Or, how many times you’ve seen something and thought, “that is so close to exactly what I want, but it’s just not the color”.

It’s happened to me a lot.

IMG_3259-2

Here’s the thing. You don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars or settle for something that isn’t perfect. If you’re willing to get your hands a little dirty, you can have the aesthetic you want at the price point you want.

A prime example of this? Back in L.A, I happened upon a cabinet outside of our apartment one night. It was poorly painted a streaky white, but it had a great shape, was clearly functional, and most importantly? It was free. Almost without thinking, I picked it up and took it inside. I slapped some green paint on it, added some gold hardware, and voilà, I had myself a pretty espresso station + place to store random belongings (you can see it here). It added so much personality and aesthetic appeal to that space, and it broke my heart to leave it behind when I moved!

IMG_3283-2.jpg

Since moving into this apartment, I knew I wanted an established entryway area. Nothing drives me crazier than seeing random piles of mail, keys, headphones, etc. all over my home. The chaos needs to be corralled, and since the entry way is typically the first thing you see when you enter your home, it’s extra important to me and my peace of mind to have that particular space well designed & organized.

My entry way is a teeny tiny little space, but I knew with some creativity and patience, I could have exactly what I wanted! The order was a tall one. I needed a table that fit the actual dimensions of the natural entryway, it had to be tall (not short like typical end tables), it needed drawers so I could hide unsightly items like lint rollers and earphones, and ideally it had to have some design appeal.

After scouring for months, I finally happened upon the almost perfect piece at Homegoods. It was under $90 (unheard of!) and fit all the above specs. Also, it had cute vintage details that I loved. Again, I took it home without thinking twice. The only issue? The color.

A8B67028-033C-4B11-A0C5-877DBB4D6FC9.JPG

So boring! Luckily, I’m now an old pro at the DIY now. As a little homage to my old coffee cabinet, I used the same green paint, spray painted the pulls the same gold, and suddenly I had a unique, eye-catching, and beautifully clutter-free entryway table. For this project, a sample container in matte finish from my local Home Depot was more than enough (it cost about $10 with the paintbrush, and I already had the spray paint I needed!) The painting project took under 24 hours. So worth it!

IMG_3276-2.jpg

IMG_3286-2.jpg

IMG_3297-2.jpg

To dress the area up a bit more, I added some neutral-colored books, a candle, a small dish to place my keys (all of which I already owned!), and a vase of fresh flowers. I bought an adorable little mirror and rug from H&M home, linked here and here, and that was it! So cute, no?!

IMG_3251-2

These kinds of posts are so fun to do. I hope you guys like them! Hopefully it inspires some of you who are designing your own spaces with budgets in mind!

Renters Refresh: The Balcony

When I moved into this apartment, I had big visions for how I would personalize every square inch of it into a space that was cozy, cute, inspiring, and functional. It’s been a total blast bringing those visions to life and I’ve loved sharing my process with friends & followers along the way, so I thought it would be fun to delve a little deeper into how one area in particular came together!

IMG_3320-2.jpg

When I started decorating, I obviously started with the big spots. The living and dining area, the kitchen, the bedroom, all of which are just about finished. Now, I’m shifting focus to the smaller spaces. On the top of my list was the balcony. With the summer months and the warmer weather finally here, all I want to do is be out there drinking iced coffee in the sunshine and enjoying dinners al fresco in the evening! So I knew the time had finally come.

Balconies, in my experience, tend to be the least loved area of the home for us twenty-somethings. More often than not they’re a mess of mismatched furniture and dead leaves/dirt. It makes me so sad. Our old one was like a plant graveyard that also happened to store Mark’s bike and a camp grill. It wasn’t cozy or coordinated, so spending any time out there just wasn’t pleasant. This time had to be different.

My first step in planning was determining what I wanted to use my balcony for. While I love a good lounge chair or low sitting chair/coffee table set up, I knew that wasn’t right for my needs. What I really wanted was somewhere I could drink coffee, eat a snack, and either read a book or do computer work while occasionally looking out onto the bustling street and neighboring shops. Images of coffee shops and cafes came to mind, and then it was abundantly clear – I needed a bistro set!

IMG_3322-2.jpg

Finding the style I wanted was also easy. I’ve been really into European decorating styles lately (namely French countryside) meaning I was looking for some bright colors, natural materials, curved shapes, Chinoiserie prints, pottery, and lots of greenery and flowers. 

IMG_3324-2.jpg

IMG_3390-2.jpgIMG_3352-2.jpg

IMG_3404-2.jpg

Finally came sourcing everything, from the bistro set to the flowers. I took it nice and slow, and really didn’t settle for anything I didn’t love. I started with the bistro chairs and twinkle lights, both of which I’ve actually had since I first moved in. The next step was the flower boxes and the table, those came from Amazon. I went to a local gardening shop to pick out supplies, pottery, and flowers. Finally, I found just the right rug and trellis to finish everything off. My little oasis!

IMG_3326-2.jpg

IMG_3405-2.jpg

IMG_3362-2.jpg

IMG_3411-2.jpg

So, there you have it. A relatively inexpensive renter’s refresh! My tips to anyone looking to do something similar are: 1. honestly evaluate your needs and desires for the space in question. 2. scour Pinterest and decorating blogs/books/resources for different aesthetics and what they entail. 3. source things slowly and deliberately, and don’t buy everything from just one store (or it will probably look like that store’s catalogue).

Finally, here are some links for ya: bistro chairs // bistro table // trellis // planter boxes // rug // twinkle lights // chinoiserie pot // watering can